Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Gift Of Giving


The cylinder piggy bank stood undisturbed in a corner for almost a year. I have this disaster scene in my head where money-dispensing machines fail and people kill each other in queues just to get hold of cash. Nobody knows the piggy bank's real purpose is for emergencies, and its existence would have remained unknown, had I not learned that it can no longer accept spare change.

My first reaction was to buy another so I can fill it with coins. The original need is still in place, and given the children and the aging matriarch at home who would be in danger should my disaster porn happen in real life, I would be eternally grateful for the foresight caused by my disturbing thoughts.

But a new belief is emerging. Something that is full of compassion: an act rather than self-preservation, it leaves everything to chance in exchange for fulfillment in performing deeds that benefit the greater whole. 

After all, nothing good comes out from worrying.

And so I picked a recipient that would find the coins most useful: The organization that sends the first teams when disaster strikes in the country. I already lent my strength and time with them to repack relief goods when a powerful storm hit Tacloban. I saw them work to provide aid. 

They resoundingly delivered.

It was a two-hour walk from home to their office in Intramuros. Mind not the method of the piggy bank delivery. I had spare time, and thought, the stroll would be a good way to work out. I arrived, barely unannounced. Even the guard was baffled with my presence. After being escorted in the receiving office, a volunteer opened the cylinder repository. The coins were carefully separated and then counted. The spare change accumulated was worth more than two thousand pesos.

More than an act of kindness, I find the deed a civic obligation. A responsibility, each and everyone in the community should be made aware of. And because it was done a day before Christmas, an obvious intention to mark the occasion, my wish is for this new habit to take root and become a tradition. In a time of prosperity, and relative harmony at home, may this be an offering, an expression of gratitude for that providence that keeps on giving.

Sharing the gift of lovingkindness from my family to yours. Merry Christmas! 

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